Pitbulls and Staffies being abandoned by their owners

Pitbulls and Staffies being abandoned by their owners

Britain’s most DUMPED dogs – Pitbulls and Staffies are among the Top 10 breeds being abandoned by their owners

  • New research has revealed Staffies are the most abandoned dog breed in the UK
  • Labradors are still the UK’s favourite dogs according to the latest research
  • READ MORE: American XL Bully dogs are officially banned

The UK is home to over 12 million dogs, earning them the title of man’s best friend and the UK’s favourite pet.

While most of them end up in loving homes, sadly a lot of furry friends find themselves in rescue shelters after being abandoned by their owners.

New research has revealed that Staffies and Pitbulls being among the most abandoned breeds. But Labrador Retrievers are still the UK’s favourite and most popular dogs.

Since the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been a year-on-year increase in people abandoning their pups, with 14,462 reports of dumped dogs made to the RSPCA in 2021. 

October 25th was National Dog Adoption Day and to raise awareness, specialist dog harness company Barkridges, has compiled a list of the top 10 dog breeds most likely to be abandoned, based on data gathered from leading UK dog charities.

New research has revealed that Labrador Retrievers are still the UK’s favourite and most popular dogs, with Staffies (pictured) sadly being the most abandoned breed (stock image)

Staffies, properly known as Staffordshire Bull Terriers, rank the highest in dog abandonment – they were found in 91% of shelters the experts analysed.

They face some of the most abuse and neglect with 80% of cruelty-to-animals prosecutions involving the breed. 

Sadly, Barkridges also advised that Staffies are most likely to be abducted and used by gangs for fighting rings or as guard dogs, among other atrocities.

They explained ‘Staffys are in dire need of finding forever homes with caring owners who can promise them lots of cuddles and long walks. 

‘They may look tough but, in reality, are huge softies that form strong bonds with their owners. 

‘Being so highly affectionate they can suffer from separation anxiety so, if you are able to take your pup to work or work from home Staffys are the dog for you.’

The experts added ‘While Staffys may have gained an unjust reputation for being aggressive, it is important to note that a study conducted by the Royal Veterinary College cited they were no more aggressive than other dogs. 

‘Just like other dogs it is essential to train your Staffy using positive learning, rewarding good behaviour with treats, toys and lots of praise.’

Labrador Retrievers are at the top of the list of most registered dogs, making them the most popular choice for Brits

READ MORE: Why your dog’s always there to welcome you home: He smells how long you’ve been away from him

Next up on the list of dogs who are up for adoption the most are German Shepherds found in 73% of the analysed shelters, followed by Jack Russells at 65% and Japanese Akitas at 58%.

Pitbulls were present in 55% of the shelters, closing off the top five most abandoned dogs on the list.

Labrador Retriever’s are known for their devotion and affection as they happily get along with other dogs as well as humans. 

Their popularity can be put down to their obedient nature and eagerness to please.

Last year over 44,000 Labrador Retrievers were registered, making them the UK’s favourite breed,  followed by over 42,000 French Bulldogs, putting them in second place.

Cocker Spaniels are third, with 29,491 finding loving homes and Miniature Smooth-Haired Dachshunds in fourth with 15,308 people taking them in.

Bulldogs and German Shepherds are on both lists, meaning while they are registered a lot, they are also abandoned a lot. 

It comes after American XL bully dogs have now been officially banned – with offences established to outlaw the sale, breeding and giving away of the dogs and walking them off-lead.

Under the new rules, which come into effect from December 31, it will be illegal to ‘breed, sell, advertise, exchange, gift, rehome, abandon or allow XL Bully dogs to stray’ in England and Wales. 

Find the full lists of the UK’s most abandoned and most registered dogs below:

Dog breeds that are up for adoption the most on leading dog charities’ websites and the percentage of shelters they’re found in

  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 91%
  • German Shepherd – 73%
  • Jack Russell – 65% 
  • Japanese Akita – 58%
  • Pitbull – 55%
  • Terrier – 43%
  • Rottweiler – 41%
  • Bulldog – 41%
  • Boxer – 36%
  • Lurcher – 33%
  • Shih-tzu – 33%

The most registered dog breeds in the UK in 2022

  • Labrador Retreiever – 44,311
  • French Bulldog – 42,538
  • Cocker Spaniel – 29,491
  • Miniature Smooth-Haired Dachshund – 15,308
  • Bulldog – 11,667
  • Golden Retriever – 11,075
  • English Springer Spaniel – 9,603
  • German Shepherd – 7,211
  • Staffordshire Bull Terrier – 6,561
  • Miniature Schnauzer – 4,788


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